Recently I have been back to the decks I built in the late 80’s in Southern Indiana, amazing how strong the railings still are.
These railings were actually built with the 2” x 2” pickets nailed to the outer deck bands sandwiched with a 2” x 4” on each side of the 2” x 2” up top with a 5/4 board for the rail cap, And with no bolts. The deck railings I have been building since the early 90’s in Atlanta have notched 4” x 4” posts bolted to the outer deck bands; once again, they are solid.
I have seen so many changes in the deck industry. Some good, some bad. As we fondly look back on different areas of life, it’s the same in decking – things were once so simple, when did it all change? And as with a lot of things, money has changed this industry too. When I first started building decks, it was so much fun, I honestly couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to get started – the fresh morning air, working and laughing side by side with a good friend, building quality things.
Some of those things have remained – namely, working with your buddies, doing quality work, and loving what you do (thankfully that definitely remains). What has changed though is the disproportionate influence of big corporations on the output of the work. With big corporations comes big money. This has been a blessing and a curse. I’d say that there are a lot more options in terms of products (wood, supplies, vendors). However, I’d say that the quality has been watered down too much. A good example are ads that I see by these big corporations for parts that are really unnecessary.
One great thing on everyone’s side though today is the internet. Used wisely (and with some skepticism), homeowners can do great research when planning their outdoor living space, selecting products and a good vendor. I believe that armed with information, people make the right decisions. I’m not saying this to lead any reader to our services. We’re not for everyone. But we will always encourage homeowners to do their research before making buying decisions. In the end, this will hold those big corporations that don’t have a lot to offer at bay.